A review of the effects of Berberis vulgaris and its major component, berberine, in metabolic syndrome


1 Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Student Research Committee, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Pharmaceutical Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Metabolic syndrome (MetS), characterized by a cluster of metabolic abnormalities including hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and dyslipidemia, is a well-known cardiovascular risk factor (CVRF). Cardiovascular disease (CVD) represents a massive healthcare burden worldwide. In recent years, with regard to the adverse effects of synthetic drugs, increasing attention has been paid by researchers to herbal medicines for a variety of disorders such as CVD. A large body of literature supports different pharmacological actions of Berberis vulgaris (B. vulgaris) and its active component, berberine (BBR), such as antidiabetic, antiobesity, hypotensive and hypolipidemic properties that could be interesting in the management of MetS associated with high CVD risk. Numerous preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies support all these effects. In this review, we evaluated the most related original articles to discover the role of B. vulgaris on various constituents of MetS and CVRF comprising dyslipidemia, obesity, high blood pressure and high blood glucose.
This review suggests a potential role of B. vulgaris and BBR in the managing of MetS; nevertheless more investigations, especially reliable clinical trials, need to be accomplished to evaluate their effectiveness.


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